203

Blink: Blink

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Blink: Blink Although it's a record on which three adventurous London musicians each contribute to making the earth move, Blink may one day be best remembered as the album with which pianist Alcyona Mick started getting taken very seriously indeed.



Still in her mid-twenties, Mick is a jazz player whose style is enriched by her love of contemporary classical music. Here, she reveals herself as a composer and improviser who has absorbed her diverse early influences—amongst them Thelonious Monk, Lennie Tristano, Bela Bartok and Olivier Messiaen—learnt from them, moved on from them, and found her own distinctive voice. The expectations raised by her debut album, Around The Sun (Audio-B, 2006), recorded in 2004 when she was still a student at The Royal Academy of Music, are fulfilled completely and irresistibly. It may sound a little breathless to say this, but hey...with Blink a new star is amongst us.



Blink the trio has been around for two years. Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Robin Fincker is co-leader of the two-tenor quartet Outhouse—whose own debut, Outhouse (Babel, 2008), is creating another local stir (Outhouse's other tenor player, Mark Hanslip, was a member of the sextet that recorded Around The Sun). Drummer Paul Clarvis, whose credits are encyclopedic, is probably best known as leader of the beguiling world-jazz chamber group Orqestra Mahatma.



Mick wrote six of the tunes on Blink, which also includes three by Fincker and a cover of contemporary classical composer Harrison Birtwistle's "Berceuse de Jeanne." Mick's pieces are things of wonder—"Quiet Afternoon," "The Gulf" and "Long Forgotten To You" are as ravishingly beautiful as Birtwistle's uncharacteristically lyrical little gem, and as quirky and full of unexpected (but just right) harmonic and rhythmic twists and turns as anything that delightful British eccentric has written. Her light-fingered but vibrant two-handed improvisations, meanwhile, particularly on the robust "Ronnie" and "Something Like The Blues," reach levels of other-worldly intensity not unlike those heard in Benjamin Britten's orchestral works.



Clarvis and Fincker are brilliantly empathetic colleagues. Fincker's tenor is questing and febrile, his clarinet trippy. Clarvis' drumming is filigreed or fat as appropriate. The absence of a bass frees up the relationships between the players. Everything, even the collectively improvised sections which follow (and in some cases precede) theme statements and individual solos, is shot through with warmth and melodicism.



Blink will entrance and excite in equal measure. Whatever you do, don't miss it.


Track Listing: Camoodi; Berceuse de Jeanne; Ronnie; The Bar; Quiet Afternoon; Tin Box; The Gulf; Something Like The Blues; Long Forgotten To You; The Mess.

Personnel: Robin Fincker: tenor saxophone, clarinet; Alcyona Mick: piano; Paul Clarvis: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Loop Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Havana Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Havana Sessions
by James Nadal
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Cosmic Nickelodeon" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Nickelodeon
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Canto América" CD/LP/Track Review Canto América
by James Nadal
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Genesis" CD/LP/Track Review Genesis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!